Inequity is the hallmark of a gendered society. Our society divides people into only two rigid sexes with distinct roles based on social status. The concept of gender highlights the biased classification system that divides women and men by status and establishes inequity. Similar systems govern relationships between different races and economic classes. The resulting inequity allows privilege to be perpetuated since being part of a dominant group is of such importance.
Inequity works best when it’s so prevalent that it goes unnoticed. In The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir points out women’s lack of solidarity and subsequent inability to effectively fight inequity in her time. De Beauvoir writes, “If they[women] are white, their allegiance is to white men, not Negro women.” They focus on certain social distinctions without addressing the value system that perpetuates inequity. Maybe some women who enjoy privilege are too concerned with using it to their advantage to realize the ways in which they themselves are being oppressed and losing potential allies in other women of different races and social classes.
Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex (page 34)